BAE Systems: Inclusive Leadership- Building Inclusive Capabilities into Total Performance Leadership

Why Inclusive Leadership is Important

Inclusive leadership in BAE Systems means:

  • Making employees more valued and therefore, more productive 
  • Increasing the self-belief and self-confidence of our leaders and employees 
  • Enables our leaders to be more authentic in the way they operate at work
  • Helps our leaders create career opportunities to a range of diverse employees

This is important to BAE Systems as it works in global markets; with increasingly diverse customers; and seeks to support its values, ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility.

The Inclusive Leadership Resource Kit has been shared with the Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Working Groups, across the BAE Systems businesses operating in the UK. BAE Systems has Diversity & Inclusion Representatives operating across the businesses, using the D&I maturity model. All of these D&I Representatives have access to tools contained within the Inclusive leadership Resource Kit. In practice, managers request information and advice from D&I representative and have access to all the tools used to embed inclusive leadership. For example, D&I representatives have ensured managers are aware of and use the 10 Question Self-Assessment Tool, to determine their own level of inclusive leadership and how they could improve.

The Masterclass on Inclusive Leadership gave me an opportunity to reflect on the work that I am currently involved in, and inspired me to think in new ways around the challenges ahead. I very much valued the opportunity both to further understand the issues around Inclusive Leadership and learn from the experiences of other businesses, and how they are addressing some of the challenges that we face in BAE Systems. I learned some useful techniques from the speakers and some best practice from the others which has shaped the work I do back in my business

- Talent and Leadership Manager,
BAE Systems

BAE Systems are restructuring the UK HR Operating Model and are in the process of embedding Centres of Expertise. BAE Systems were keen to look at how they can embed Inclusive leadership into the work of each Centres for Expertise, such as the Centre for Expertise on Talent and Organizational Development, to ensure leaders are taking an unbiased approach to talent management; leveraging the diversity of thought within their teams and getting the best out of all their people to the benefit of the business.

The Head of Future HR Services has been briefed on Inclusive Leadership and the tools in the Resource Kit before commencing the HR Future Services project, and the inclusive leadership project outcomes have been shared with the Head of Strategy and Planning who is responsible for the Line Manager aspect of the new HR model.

Building inclusive capabilities into a Leadership Framework

As part of the Leadership Excellence Club, BAE Systems asked Opportunity Now and Shapiro Consulting to review its existing Leadership framework, the BAE Systems Global Competencies and its 360 feedback process, to maximise the frameworks’ capacity for developing inclusive leaders.

Inclusive leadership supports BAE Systems’ Leadership framework outputs:  

The Leadership framework seeks to gain several outputs including increased staff motivation and performance. As the 2011 research showed, inclusive leadership has a positive impact on these areas. By developing competencies in valuing and being able to work effectively with difference (e.g. differences between individuals, organisational cultures, professional specialisms or national borders), inclusive leadership can help BAE Systems to deliver:

  •  A strong pipeline of diverse leaders who are able to leverage innovation
  •  Building an enterprise with global reach and is a magnet for talented people
  •  People whose actions and behaviours are aligned to achieving company strategy and demonstrating its values
  •  Being able to attract and retain the best talent
  •  Engaged and productive people driving customer focus and competitive advantage

 

Embedding Inclusive Leadership into the Leadership Framework Processes

The Leadership framework of ‘Perform, Assess, Develop and Reward’ is critical in ensuring that inclusive leadership is embedded in the following ways:

  •  Development Reviews – ensuring competencies are included in personal objectives and development plans
  •  360 exercise – leaders gain feedback on their behaviours
  •  Succession planning – inclusive leadership is a key element in identifying future leaders
  •  Leadership development – development opportunities including, for example, training, coaching, mentoring or projects, are used to help develop inclusive leadership competencies
  •  Reward reviews – inclusive leadership is a key part of the review that focuses not just on what but how an individual achieves results.

A Strategy for Engaging Existing Inclusive Lleaders and Change Agents

Using the Masterclasses as part of the project, the Diversity Team targeted staff to attend the masterclasses. This process motivated the D&I team to find and engage with change agents across business and business units.
Those that attended the Masterclass events fed back that they each benefitted from hearing the challenges facing other organizations, existing best practice in this area and the Masterclasses provided diversity of thought and reflective thinking. The networking provided by the Masterclasses were very useful and established links with Fujitsu and Citi in particular about best practice on forming a Carers Network.
“The Masterclass on Inclusive Leadership gave me an opportunity to reflect on the work that I am currently involved in, and inspired me to think in new ways around the challenges ahead. I very much valued the opportunity both to further understand the issues around Inclusive Leadership and learn from the experiences of other businesses, and how they are addressing some of the challenges that we face in BAE Systems. I learned some useful techniques from the speakers and some best practice from the others which has shaped the work I do back in my business.”

Talent and Leadership Manager, BAE Systems